Larbert Rowans decision reversed for now

Parents and carers get their point across outside Falkirk Council
Parents and carers get their point across outside Falkirk Council

The decision to close a vital adult respite service in Larbert at the end of the year has been put on hold for the time being.

Falkirk Council officers forecast a saving of £100,000 in the 2016/17 budget if The Rowans Short Break Service was closed from the agreed date of December 31 this year.

The decision to close the Rowans was apparently taken as a budget savings option at a meeting of the council back in February, but members of the scrutiny committee last week agreed to postpone the closure in order to carry out a full review.

Councillor Stephen Bird said: “I’m delighted to hear the closure has been postponed and happy to hear the views of carers are going to be taken on board. That was sadly lacking at the outset of the exercise and a lot of grief and heartache could have been avoided had that been done.”

An event has been organised at Camelon’s Sensory Centre on November 4 to allow carers to hear information from external care providers and enable them to ask questions and chat with alternative organisations.

Councillor Steven Carleschi and Provost Pat Reid praised parents and carers for their persistence and commitment to the fight to keep The Rowans open.

Earlier this year carers marched on Falkirk’s Municipal Buildings demanding the council save the facility.

At the time Diane Fitzpatrick, a carer for someone who uses The Rowans, said: “I feel the council has been very underhanded in the way they have done this. They consulted within the council but did not come to parents or carers about it.

“They have picked on the most vulnerable people in Falkirk to make their cuts.”